England awakes

On Tuesday England took a step towards justice. In the Commons English MPs were asked to give consent to parts of the Housing and PLanning Bill, and English and Welsh MPs to other parts, in accordance with the new procedures. It means England does now have a veto over laws that only apply to us. It also means that Parliament has to acknowledge England’s interest and to mention England’s name. We are still well short of Scotland’s freedom to propose what she wants for herself.

The response of the two other main parties in the House was predictably disappointing. Few Labour MPs attended at all. Their front bench spokesman declined the offer to reply to the Minister, though was shamed into the debate later. The SNP complained bitterly that this modest step created two classes of MP, which is simply wrong. I asked the SNP spokesman why it was acceptable to deny MPs from English constituencies any voice or vote on Scotland’s health or education or local government, but unacceptable to give English MPs a veto on what the Union Parliament might wish to do on these matters for England? There was no sensible answer provided.

England expects some devolution for us to mirror the extensive devolution in other parts of the UK. There are two large outstanding issues.

The first is the money. As we move to a world where Scotland will retain her own Income Tax receipts as well as having other Scottish tax revenues, there needs to be a new deal on how much grant Scotland receives from the UK Treasury and how this is calculated. The principle is no detriment to either side. That is the easy bit. How you calculate it is altogether more difficult. Scotland should clearly benefit from raising more money or have to cut spending if it decides to raise less. To what extent should the Union underwrite a drop in income tax revenues because of job losses in the Scottish economy? We are currently living through a difficult period for the oil industry where well paid Scottish jobs will be lost. How do you attribute changes in revenue to tax rate changes and to economic changes?

The second is England’s powers to make her own decisions in areas devolved in Scotland. The devolution settlement will be fairer if England can make her own decisions on how to spend what is in effect our block grant, just as Scotland has full budgetary freedom over her revenues and grant.As we saw on tuesday, the Department for Communities and local government is a department for England. So are Health and Education. These big areas now need to be led in England’s interest with England’s consent.

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61 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Long over due, but still far too little too late. Of course the SNP spokesman provided no sensible answer. The answer is that they want to have their cake and eat it at the expense of the English. Perhaps the English might now be able to afford to improve the hugely under invested on road network?

    I was unable to contribute yesterday as I spend over six and half hours driving a total distance of 124 miles first on the North Circular (bridge works) and then the M25 car on fire taking hours to clear and imprisoning everyone caught. What a complete joke the SE road network and road clearance mechanisms are.

    What is the cost (and all the pollution) caused by thousands of people, cars, truck and vans caught up in this unnecessary congestion. The “cycle superhighway” is also causing huge blockages all over London too I hear. Bristol has gone totally bonkers and anti car too. Why not sort out some proper road space for the cars and truck drivers who hugely over pay for it already for a change?

    • Bob
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      @lifelogic

      “What a complete joke the SE road network and road clearance mechanisms are.”

      Seconded!
      The govt is too busy spending our money overseas.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I read that the, over stretched and incompetently structured NHS is proposing to spend £50M to provide a drug which will clearly encourage many gay men not to use condoms.

      Are they completely insane or am I missing something? The same drug is not to be provided for non gay couples it seems even though the majority of new infections are there it seems. Surely the far cheaper and safer condom is the only option they should encourage? There are far higher priorities in the NHS.

      There is much talk about the strikes providing “emergency cover” but the reality is that often they do not know what is and is not an emergency until it is too late. Any delay in tests and treatments will almost certainly causes some unnecessary deaths.

      • Reg
        Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        The emergency cover during the junior doctors’ strike will be provided by Consultants. The standard of care will be better than usual.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      LL – – As the deliberately engineered population growth continues – all needing transport – congestion will just continue to get worse, as will the amount of illegal drivers who have come here and obtained fake licences, not caring one bit who they hit or kill. The Illegal immigrant who killed a young girl in Blackburn, while driving illegally, and fought deportation, is now being well rewarded. He is here forever, on benefits and free healthcare – for taking a young girl’s life. What a justice system. Tragic. Immigration judges ruled he could stay. Sick Sick Sick.
      One police program showed a foreigner driving here, stopped by the police. His “foreign “(fake) license was supposedly from his home country – but was printed in English?? No doubt bought from one of his fellow countrymen here. How many more human death traps who don’t give a damn are loose on our roads? . . .and aren’t all foreign drivers supposed to take an English driving test after a certain period of time? – Dose failure to do this negate their insurance? – Are the ministers or the police bothered? It doesn’t seem so.
      etc ed

    • forthurst
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      “I was unable to contribute yesterday”

      Only 20 comments: a slack day for JR.

    • stred
      Posted January 16, 2016 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      The four lane section of the M25 in Kent was again jammed because of a broken down motor cycle. What other country would cone off 2 lanes for a motorbike, which could be pulled onto the verge?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 17, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        They certainly do not seem to care very much or even at all about the inconvenience and costs they cause to the thousands of delayed motorists.

  2. Jon
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I am confused as to why HMRC which now has computers is not able to identify income tax from Scotland?

    The Financial Services industry collects billions every day and not only has to identify it for money laundering purposes but allocate it to the respective accounts, policies and investments.

    How is it that HMRC cannot tie up residence with income tax when they appear on the dame data, tag that and then the computer add it up? If it really is that difficult for them then just pay someone £100k from the financial services IT area to sort it.

    Reply That is not the issue. The issue is who picks up the bill for any shortfall in Scottish income tax receipts.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Who picks up the bill? The South East of England mainly. All those people stuck on the M25 for hours on end yesterday for example.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Shortfall compared to what?
      Surely they either cut their spending or borrow the difference? If they can’t borrow they go bust. Close the Scottish Parliament and return all power to Westminster. Easy.

    • Jon
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Well there shouldn’t be an issue there as long as we know how much was collected and can subtract from Barnett but assume that is not how it is done then.

      Is my life long enough to look at the calculations for Barnett?

    • Andy
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Simple. Because HMRCs system is based on PAYE which uses the employers address, usually its accounting office. The address of the taxpayer is thus not relevant to where the record is administered. Once individual revenue accounts are operational HMRC will be able to sort out taxpayers by country, county and borough. They just can’t at present.

  3. Antisthenes
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    A step in the right direction but as you point out leaves many matters unresolved. I presume Conservatives did not demand more for tactical reasons given the unreasonable opposition to any form of self-determination for England. It says a lot about the opposition parties who oppose considering how spurious their reasons for doing so. It is just a simple example of the opposition saying “do not do what I do but do as I tell you”. The mind set from that sentiment exposes their total lack of fair mindedness, their challenged intellectual abilities and their total unfitness to represent their constituents in any capacity what so ever. Scotland proving the last by the simple fact that the SNP governance there is a total disaster. Wales pretty much suffering the same fate under a Labour government.

    In the end total resolution of the outstanding issues on who governs England can only be achieved with England having it’s own parliament and the UK as a whole having a separate one as well.

    • John
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Well Said. England will never get fairness and equality while the British are in charge. No voice no co-operation from the English. An English parliament is the only way to heal this open wound.

  4. Mark B
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But for that journey to be completed, the first step must be followed by another and another. I will never give up my demand for parity with Scotland, the abolition of the House of Lords and iyts conversion to a UK Senate that reflects in equal measure,k the peoples of the UK.

    Many thanks anyway, Mr. Redwood MP sir.

    • Bob
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      @Mark B
      The House of Lords is no longer fit for purpose.
      It should be renamed the House of Cronies.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      We should have parity with Scotland, which means a separate and separately elected devolved unicameral parliament for the whole of England passing laws for the whole of England, scrutinising the actions of a separate devolved government for the whole of England, and holding it to account. As for the UK, Union or federal parliament, in my view because it is a sovereign not a devolved parliament it is better for it to stay as a bicameral parliament with a suitably reformed second chamber.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    “Oxford will not rewrite history” says Lord Patten I read in the Telegraph. Almost the first sensible thing I have ever heard him say. Is he finally developing some wisdom, after all those years of BBC think leftyism? Perhaps he will notice that the EU has been a complete disaster next?

    Three cheers for Chris Grayling for stating the obvious – EU disastrous for UK, says cabinet minister Chris Grayling.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35308763

    • Bob
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Damien Green was on the Toady program this morning claiming that Chris Grayling was pedaling myths about the EU.

      But of course Chris Grayling was unable to challenge that assertion without breaking Mr Cameron’s Brexit gagging order.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but why did Grayling ruin it by stooping to include the usual tosh about giving the re-negotiation a chance? Was there pressure from No 10 so that they could remain “relaxed”? Why is not obvious that even if Cameron gets what he has put in his risible letter he will have achieved next to nothing? Is it that we are to hope that he will get a better, rather than worse, deal than he is asking for, which would seem a trifle unlikely? Nothing else makes sense. Why do we not hear about the strong hand that Cameron is not taking advantage of, indeed completely misplaying? Why doesn’t he simply say that he will veto the Treaty changes that will soon unarguably have to be put in place relating to the Eurozone? What answer would Brussels have to that? Seems to me that on that basis we would have the whip hand and could negotiate something worth having.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Well my country is split in half now. So get used to it.

    Everything you say is right. Fair is fair. But how far are the Scots our fellow countrymen? They do not seem to be at the moment. So why should we support them? (There are strong political arguments, but the Scots do not seem to listen: it seems to be all take take take.)

    Mrs Sturgeon and Alex Salmond are stuffed and they must know it. If only the Scots knew it too. “It is very easy to spot the difference between a sunbeam and a Scotsman with a grievance.” – PG Wodehouse.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      The Scots are stuffed too, with the absurd tax grabbing incompetence of the SNP and the low gas and oil prices.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Clearly a sizeable minority of the people in Scotland do not see the people in England as their countrymen. However I think it has to be recognised that many of those who voted for independence in September 2014 did not understand the full implications, that Scotland would become a foreign country for the rest of the UK, and vice versa, and, no, the European Union could not be seen as a desirable alternative to the British Union which would make sure that the effects of the separation would all be smoothed over. As an admittedly extreme example I was staggered to see a young woman in Glasgow saying that she’d been happy to vote for independence because it didn’t mean leaving the United Kingdom.

  7. Old Albion
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The whinging of the SNP over EVEL is entirely disingenuous, they claim it pushes Scotland out as though that isn’t exactly what they want.
    Ultimately England must and will get her own Parliament, this is the first tiny step in that direction.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      One must always view the opinions of the SNP in the context of their primary purpose as a party. Unfortunately, due to the disproportionality in the electoral system, the pro-union voice from Scotland is effectively excluded at Westminster (unlike in Holyrood), so a more balanced view will not be presented until Westminster is more representative of the electorate.

  8. Graham Wood
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Very good comment.
    ” England does now have a veto over laws that only apply to us.” – but it does now need to be extended.
    Slightly out of context I know, but having acknowledged the principle then it would be an even greater step forward to apply the same principle to the anomaly of EU governance in all sorts of policy areas.
    For example – there is no reason at all why the EU should have any legislative power over British/English domestic law in relation to the management and control of our rivers and wetlands.
    Both the EU Water Framework Directive and Habitat Directive should be repealed immediately via the ECA 1972, and should be returned forthwith to our control.
    Remote direction of policy by bumbling Brussels bureaucrats is the very last thing people in Cumbria, Yorkshire and elsewhere need for short and long term management of rivers etc. The policy has signally failed as all can see.
    Whatever happened to “subsidiarity” ?

    • majorfrustration
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Agree. Its almost as though our politicians whilst always highlighting the need to make difficult decisions and always intent on making things clear thay are still nevertheless happy to hide behind EU legislation and UK Quangos.

    • forthurst
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      “Whatever happened to “subsidiarity” ?”

      Just a bit of BS from Major to help sell Maastrich to the ever gillible British public.

  9. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I may be wrong but it seems whenever we hear the voices of the SNP whether in Holyrood or Westminster they just seem intent on making things difficult for all on matters pertaining to England. They want independence but cannot stop interfering in matters that are totally nothing to do with them ie. the recent debate on opening hours for shops in England. It’s ok for them to have these extended hours but not for us. Everyone is sick of hearing from them. Scots are divided like never before. Interesting to hear Ruth Davidson ( Scottish Cons Leader) saying yesterday that hers is the only party fighting for Scotland to stay in the UK. The others are all free now to campaign for leaving!! England must be allowed to decide laws for the English without interference.

    On the subject of tax, surely if they had independence they would have the worries about raising enough money anyway??? They have fought tooth and nail to get these extra powers and now they must face up the responsibilities that go with it. Everyone knows the revenue from oil and other industries goes up and down and so they have to factor for this. It’s about time the SNP saw what it was really like to run an economy and not just rely on the English to bail them out all the time. Sturgeon keeps promising utopia for Scots so let’s see her deliver it now.

  10. a-tracy
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Scottish MPs and a Scottish led Labour party decided to make their own MPs “second class” in their words by devolving their decisions to a separate secondary parliament in Scotland, they could take those decisions back for Scottish MPs if they chose to but they wanted a second division to choose for them and the added costs that this incurs, we English are more prudent and expect our English MPs to do the job we’ve always paid them to do without passing the buck to another layer of politician, the Scots’ taxation should bear the cost of their decision too.

    In the end I can see an English parliament to go with the other three we have, with a much reduced House of Commons (one MP dealing with three or four of our present size constituencies to discuss UK wide important ‘none devolved’ issues) and the MSP equivalents being more constituency based and reporting to a new English Holyrood in a Central region. No House of Lords.

  11. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Scotland is tossing a turning too and with one eye open has managed to sleep off most of the night-before.

    Yesterday 13 Dec 2016 in Parliament: The Rt Hon Ms.Anna Soubry, MP for Broxtowe, Minister of Small Business and Industrial Enterprise headlined that the Scottish Nationalists could do well to note the massive decline in the price of oil.

    Mr Stewart Hosie, MP for Dundee East and Deputy Leader of the SNP made an ineffectual strawman retort that the OBR was responsible for making a prediction the oil price would be over $120 per barrel.

    Ms Soubry countered, in my opinion somewhat mischievously, that she only mentioned the oil price because the Scottish Nationalists had based their entire Independence Argument on the basis oil providing for lone Scotland’s sustainable future.

    Ms Soubry was then presented with smiling shaking heads from Mr Hosie; Mr Angus Robertson, MP for Moray, Deputy leader of the SNP (#his wikipedia photo is not a good likeness at all ); and, from Ms Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, Deputy SNP Leader in the House of Commons.
    Fixed grin arguments appear to be the ultimate modi operandi for the SNP after being soundly routed.

    In point of fact prior to the Scottish Independence vote in 2014 which was defeated, the SNP for decades made great noise about how “Scottish” oil as they so erroneously termed it, would lay the sound basis for Scotland’s future as “the English” had stolen all “their” other assets. The SNP has a poor perception of Scottish people, other things notwithstanding. The people of Scotland are a major asset for the UK. They certainly deserve better than the Dr Beaker-like Mr and Mrs Grins of the Scottish National Party.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Its a start John, but I still cannot help thinking that this is the complicated way of doing things, that will lead to more arguments than agreements.

    The simple solution was for an English Parliament, with all Countries in the Union having exactly the same powers under Devolution.

    I fear Mr Hague, who’s idea this was, will not have left a legacy, but a fiasco.

    The much earlier mistake was to start Devolution in the first place, as it will eventually split the Union.

  13. Vanessa
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I am afraid that I am so fed-up with the Scottish moaning about England that I think we should kick them out now! If they are so ungrateful to us for the huge amounts of money we give them because they are incapable of running their own economy then we should say “fine, go it alone then”! They seem to hate us because we prop them up, so they should be able to split and control their own country. We all know why they want to stay IN the EU – it is because they will continue to get the huge handouts from them to which they have become accustomed – I am sick and tired of the winging Scots !

    • turbo terrier
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Vanessa

      I am sick and tired of the winging Scots

      What you should have added was the word nationalist.

      The vast majority of true Scots are also very p****d of with the winging and whining. They are embarrassed to be Scottish because they are British

      • James Matthews
        Posted January 15, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        And yet they vote for the SNP in enormous numbers. When they put their crosses elsewhere I will find your final paragraph convincing.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 15, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          James, this occurs because of the disproportional distortions of the current electoral system. The difference in votes between the SNP and the combined pro-union parties is only about 6%, so pro-union votes exist in fairly similar “enormous numbers”, they are just excluded from Westminster representation.

  14. agricola
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    What is given to Scotland is Scotland’s. What alone concerns England is England’s. It is only complex and debatable if you wish to fudge the line. Scotland is the partner who has chosen to leave the conjugal bed with a very generous allowance. She is now largely free to lead her own life and to be judged on the results. She has no right whatever to decide the direction of her ex husbands life nor interfere with it in any respect.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Agricola

      She has no right whatever to decide the direction of her ex husbands life nor interfere with it in any respect.

      You have never met my ex!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Tim L
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    John,

    I’m tired of the “two classes of MP” phrase trotted out by the SNP and others when in fact the problem existed before EVAL and these changes are but a small step towards equality for English MP’s.

    On the sporting side of this issue it’s good to see the anthem situation progress, personallly I’m torn between Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory.

  16. Atlas
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    You are right John. The old saying “What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander” comes to mind. Now, let’s get out of the EU…

  17. Iain Moore
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    If only they were English MPs, but unfortunately they aren’t , most are British MPs squatting in English constituency seats, and haven’t lifted a finger to defend English peoples interests in all the years they have been in Parliament.

    I stumbled across the EVEL debate last year on the Parliament Channel, there we had on display the level of interest British MPs had in English affairs. bar a few MPs the chamber was empty, they couldn’t careless. There was one part of the Commons that was stuffed full of MPs, the SNP benches, and they were defending Scottish peoples interests, to the full stop and comma.

    The one thing I can’t figure out is that as British MPs couldn’t careless about England, don’t want to have to do with anything about our country or people, or represent our interests in the House of Commons, still refuse to let us have an English Parliament to do the things they don’t want to do. Its a case of we can’t be bothered to do it, but we will do everything to obstruct your ability to do it for yourselves.

  18. Amanda
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Well done Mr Redwood, you have worked long and hard for this small step of justice, and I am sure you will continue. We thank you.

    As for the SNP being second class MP’s – they are not even that; in terms of quality they are third rate ‘national socialist brown-shirts’ at best – you wouldn’t want many of them on a Parish Council, let alone in the Mother of Parliaments. Of course they had no answer to your question . The objective of the SNP is to pillage and humiliate the English for perceived historic injustices, and then open their arms to multi-cultural oblivion in the EU.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Amand.

      What a star you are. Really great response.

      Well said and soooooooooooooo true

  19. Iain Moore
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    PS how is it that for decades I and others have been fighting for English representation, but getting no where , including a few of you in Parliament, but when a Labour MP offers a bit of tokenist rubbish about an English national anthem it is all over the BBC airwaves, over shadowing the meeting of the grand committee, which was never reported on the BBC .

    And when a couple of decades of trying to get English representation gets us no where, just a few people talking about ‘trans’ rights gets blanket coverage on all BBC channels.

  20. Pete
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Why is there any question about what grant a devolved Scotland should get? Zero. Obviously. If not then why should England not get a grant from Scotland?

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Other countries with federal structures seem to manage to sort out not only the division of responsibilities but also the finances between the component parts, between the federal authorities and the different state authorities. Of course there are often arguments about both, but not of such intensity and vehemence that they may lead to the break up of the federation. There are exceptions when there is insufficient fellow feeling for all sides to try to work together to get satisfactory compromises, and it is not difficult to draw up a list of federations which have failed in the past hundred years or so, usually because they should not have been formed in the first place.

  22. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    Business Statement : BBC Parliament today 14 Dec 2016
    Mr Chris Graying MP for Epsom and Ewell was subjected to references to the colour of his shirt, and even his date of birth and other things by Chris Bryant MP for Rhondda.

    I was going to write that although what could be thought of as personal attacks ( more than just an ad hominem argument ) are tolerated in media satire as rightly or wrongly we are all apt to view leading politicians fair game. Indeed, they seem to rejoice in having their names mentioned even negatively,- but find it odd the The Speaker of the House did not intervene.Certainly in formal Labour, Tory and UKIP branch meetings not to mention Trades Union branch meetings the Chairmen would most certainly intervene if a member of that meeting were being so attacked. And if the offending member were to continue then they would be ordered from the meeting and possibly forbidden to attend for a specific duration.
    I say I WAS going to write the aforementioned but as I started writing, Mr Bryant MP spoke again and raised a Point of Order. Sought to “gently remind” his opposite number Mr Graying MP on a possible procedural error. The Speaker then answered in the stead of Mr Graying and though I may very well be mistaken; for, The Speaker’s style of language is razor sharp but ample in all senses…did seem to in other words to tell Mr Bryant to Shut Up!

    Of course a number of world religions use a form of personification ( not necessarily wholly conforming to a dictionary definition ) as a focus for understanding a particular theological/spiritual concept. Stating for example : Odin, may not give offence to many.
    But I wonder at Mr Bryant’s methodology. A few days ago he took a tweet of Mr Trump as having a meaning obviously opposite to Mr Trump’s intention and at odds with a common understanding of Tweet-English and the use and meaning of full-stops. If Wikipedia be true in Mr Bryant’s case there does seem a history of mentioning the attributes or otherwise of certain people to make political comment.
    The Labour Party really does have problems, internal, to the Left of them and indeed to the Right of them. In effect, with nothing worthy to say,they have shut themselves up.

  23. Mactheknife
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Sturgeon and Salmond have always wanted ‘Devo Max’ despite pushing the independence line to the public. Why ? Well they get new powers without any responsibility, knowing that the English teat is there to suckle on and keep the cash flowing.

    A new Scottish settlement is entirely justified where a reduced cash flow from south of the border is in place. EVEL should also reflect fiscal and financial changes to the make up of the union and the tap dually shut off.

  24. adam
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    It is important to take some leadership on this issue in order to block the UNs plan to balkanise the nation states.

    The conspiracy to destroy the British empire was engaged in Victorian times probably around 1850 but here is no reason our generation bend to be bound by vast conspiracies of he past.

    England should exists as a sovereign nation state outside of the EU, because the EU is just a subsidiary region of the UN and the UN is completely insane.

    They invented a whole programme called Sustainable Development out of thin air. No country in the world uses it and no university promotes it, yet the UN expects everybody to adopt it. Because the UN is a fake organisation, representing nobody, with no culture or history of ideas, they have nothing of value to offer the world. According to the UKs Sustainable Development Commission they got the idea for susdev from the Brutland Commission, whose main source document was Ecology Magazines screeds against the West and Capitalism, and from the Club of Rome report which scientists criticised when it was published.

    We have a history of questioning and rebelling against religious doctrines. there is no reason English people should have to live under this mental illness. We should use science to drive our development because science is proven to work and is part of our national culture and identity since we established independence from European Catholic enslavement.

    The anti English want to break the country into regions and the leadership should be too keep England together as a nation.

  25. Jerry
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I have very mixed feeling about all this, whilst I can understand why EVEL is needed I do feel that we are on a slippery slop to at least a disunited Kingdom if not back-door separation, the English seem to be now doing the SNPs bidding to some degree!

    Off topic, regarding this website; John, have you any idea what the the new Cookie that appeared on your site today is all about, it goes by the name ” X-Mapping-* ” (* being what appears to be string of 8 random charters), the name suggests some form of tracking or analytical use, something I though we were able to be accept or decline via the Privacy settings, which this Cookie can not?

  26. Bob
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I read that the govt has devolved “powers & proper long term funding” to the West Midlands Combined Authority. This on condition that a West Midlands Metro-Mayor is put in place.

    Why do I get the feeling that this is part of the EU’s plan to divide and rule?

  27. James Matthews
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    ” The principle is no detriment to either side”. Yes, but in comparison with what? If you mean in comparison with the present massively over generous funding for Scotland then no. The principle should be a fair settlement, which will mean considerable detriment to Scotland.

    At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, while what has happened so far is progress, for which relief much thanks, it is not nearly enough. We need to eliminate cross border subsidies and England needs a full Parliament and Executive (preferably elected by PR).

    That might break the Union. If so, so be it.

  28. fkc
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    I agree Graham . what on earth has Europe got to do with our management of our rivers and wetlands. Can we not rely on our own locals and farmers who have managed for hundreds of years. Meddling by Europe and the environment agency have not helped and are still not helping. Strange silence when help is needed and not much emergency funding either. Nothing new is there.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Fairness for all is a respectable , amenable and rational condition in our society . The cause that John has championed for some time has achieved its first step ; it remains to be seen whether it can proceed further . The mealy mouthed SNP MPs have shown how selfish they are and have been admonished ; perhaps they will now come forward with a much improved attitude in the management of the UKs’ affairs .

  30. Donna
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m English. I don’t expect “some devolution” for England. I want what the Scots, Welsh and NI have. I want an English Parliament.

  31. turbo terrier
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Well it is a start.

    What the people of England has to get a grip with is that nothing here in dictatorship Scotland happens without the “F” word, funding. Crossed, mixed or matched it does not really matter as long as they get something.

    The Scotsman in the street expects it and relies on it coming from the English. If it doesn’t it is the fault of Westminster. The Snp use this all the time. Even the Welsh First Minister in a debate against Farage used the word European Subsidies time and again. It is a disease that spreads across the UK. Like with the oil price now it has co;;apsed it is time to stand on your own two feet. Not in dictatorship Scotland they (SNP) will look for more funding to offset the shortfall. Nobody seems to have learnt that you cannot borrow yourself out of a crisis. The UK national debt increases and still we cannot hit the set targets. When is this really going to be addressed if ever? As old granny use to say ” only buy what you can afford to pay back on” Scotland is no different if they want all the things that they promise then their taxes will have to rise a lot. One older more experienced man of the world Scotsman said to me that “if the taxes go up which they will then the poll tax riots will seem like a tea party” Great, more debt and grief to follow up here.

  32. Original Richard
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    I thank you for your hard work on this issue.

  33. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 14, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    I hope the settlement given to Scotland is not permanent. If the oil prices are low then the money given will be a higher amount. Will this be permanent if oil prices rise, therefore giving the Scots more?

  34. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 15, 2016 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    There remain the twin problems of the governance of Scotland (1) that the recent Scotland Act is totally unworkable and (2) the Barnett formula is unjust to England.

    Not to mention the fact that elements of the Scotland devolution settlement are being imposed on Wales and Northern Ireland who do not in the main want more devolution.

  35. APL
    Posted January 16, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Off topic: But WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THE BBC?

    This morning I watched the BBC’s report on the death of Greville Janner, and various reports of his antics in numerous state run children’s homes.

    By the end of the broadcast, the one question screaming to be answered about ‘Lord’ Janner, remained unasked:- which political party was Janner associated with?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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